Headaches v. Migraines

I speak from experience when I say that there is NOTHING worse than having frequent, or recurring headaches. One of the things that I see most frequently, and I am able to give my patients HUGE relief from is headaches, but more specifically, migraines that are so strong, and severe they limit your ability to live life normally. Missed days of work, and weekends spent in a dark room, are just not something you have to “learn to live with.” I, myself, was a headache, and migraine sufferer until I ran into upper cervical specific care, and, it first hand, changed my life. In fact, so much so, I dedicated my entire career to helping people just like I did suffering from these awful ailments. The big question, I often get is what is the true difference between a headache, and a migraine, and what can I do to help alleviate them; I wanted to touch on the key differences, and some of the things you can try to hopefully give you relief.

This graphic, displays some of the key differences to look out for when it comes to deciphering whether you are suffering from a headache versus a migraine. What I find is most people normally don’t care whether they have a headache, or a migraine, the bottom line is, I’m in pain, and what are my options to get rid of them. If this is you, and you have tried things such as Topomax, Emitrex, or maybe even progressed to something like Botox injections; I have something you might be interested in trying. Harvard recently came out with a study, http://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/migraine, that indicated 20% of people in the U.S. will become a migraine sufferer. The study also included that three of the most common root causes of migraines originate from the upper cervical spine, and it’s adjacent structures such as nerves, blood vessels, and muscles. As an upper cervical specialist that aims to locate a misalignment of one or more of the top two bones in the neck, and the nervous system malfunction that often accompanies it; we are able to not only give our patients results, but more importantly, results that last! Here are a few things to try first, however, that might help give you symptomatic relief for the time being without nasty side effects:

  • Caffeine – if you consume a lot of it daily, cut back; if you don’t consume very often, try a cup or two of coffee each day.
  • Eliminate foods that contain tyramine, such as aged meats, and cheeses, fermented drinks such as beer. Sulfites, like are in wines, and red meat. MSG containing foods, such as Chinese, or other buffet type foods, have been known to cause huge triggers.
  • Disruptive, and unrepetitive sleep patterns have also been known to cause migraines. Make sure your sleep schedule is consistent; 7 to 8 hours from 9-10 p.m. to 6-7 a.m. is recommended. Over sleeping can be a huge trigger.
  • Foods high in flavonoids have been shown to be extremely effective in helping prevent migraines, these include: nuts, seeds, grapes, dark chocolate, less than 4 ounces of red wine, tomatoes, oranges, apples, pears, celery, almonds, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, and romaine lettuce are all great choices.
  • Peppermint Essential Oils have been shown to be effective when placed topically on the areas of pain and discomfort.

If none of this works, you are an ideal client for my clinic at the Specific Chiropractic Center, we love taking people just like YOU, and getting you well. We exist to make you live life exactly how you wanna live it. When people ask me what I recommend for migraines; I respond, a life without migraines. If this is what you seek, I am here to help.

Dr. Grant, drgrantdennis.com, 501-420-2815